Cover image © Pavel Ageychenko

Vardzia is an impressive cave city located in the southern part of Georgia, near the Turkish border, and is one of the most unique and breathtaking attractions in the country. The city was built in the 12th century during the reign of Queen Tamar and was a thriving cultural, political, and religious center. The complex includes a network of caves, underground tunnels, and chambers that were carved out of the rock face of the Erusheti Mountain. The city was built as a refuge for Georgians from invading Mongols and was inhabited until the 16th century.

Today, visitors can explore the ancient ruins and witness the incredible engineering feats that were accomplished over 800 years ago. The caves are adorned with intricate frescoes and carvings that depict scenes from the Bible, and the city includes a church, a monastery, and a library. The complex also features a complex irrigation system that provided water to the inhabitants, including an underground river that still flows today.

The Vardzia complex is vast and includes more than 300 caves, stretching over 13 levels. Visitors can climb up the steep stairways to the upper levels, which offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The site is open year-round, but the best time to visit is in the spring and autumn when the weather is mild. The nearest town is Akhaltsikhe, which is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Vardzia.

Visitors should be prepared to do some hiking and climbing when visiting Vardzia, as the site is spread out over a large area and includes some steep terrain. However, the reward for the effort is a truly unforgettable experience that transports visitors back in time to one of the most fascinating periods in Georgian history.

Nearest to Vardzia

Distances shown are straight-line, calculated automatically from coordinates, and may not reflect actual travel distance. They do not account for altitude, terrain, or obstacles. Not suitable for itinerary planning or emergencies. For entertainment use only.

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